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Firefighters Take Flight In Memory Of One Of Their Own During Fundraiser

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About 1,400 people took to the stairs to raise money for the American Lung Association. (WWJ/Beth Fisher)

About 1,400 people took to the stairs to raise money for the American Lung Association. (WWJ/Beth Fisher)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Does the mere thought of walking a flight of stairs make you break out in a sweat? Can you imagine climbing 70? That’s what about 1,400 metro Detroiters did Sunday all for a good cause at the Renaissance Center in Detroit.

The upward trek was to raise money for the American Lung Association during its biggest fundraiser of the year.

Sterling Heights firefighters gather before making the fundraising stair climb. (WWJ/Beth Fisher)

Sterling Heights firefighters gather before making the fundraising stair climb. (WWJ/Beth Fisher)

For several members of the Sterling Heights Fire Department, the journey up the stairs took on a more personal nature. They climbed in memory of Eric Post, a firefighter who died of leukemia in January.

“He was also a veteran of the armed forces, too,” said Fire Chief Chris Martin. “He was a combat medic with the United State Army.”

Many of the firefighters, including Chief Martin, took to the stairs in full gear, which weighs about 45 pounds.

“It’s not really a training exercise – it’s more of a camaraderie thing,” said Martin. “We have been training for it, because it’s very intensive, it’s hard to do.”

Firefighter John Ferris told WWJ’s Beth Fisher that the climb today was in full gear and Eric Post will help them along the way: “The thirty-fifth floor, we have, ‘we are doing this for our brother we lost this year,’ Post, died of cancer, and on the thirty-fifth floor we’ve got a sign up there that has his name and that will push us the rest of the way. No problem.”

The event raised about $330,000 for the American Lung Association.

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